Table of Contents

+ Add to Library

Previous Next

Chapter 2

  • All of a sudden, there was chaos among the staff in the emergency room. They ran to and fro, wearing their N95 face masks in a snap of a finger. Those vigilant watchers of the waiting patients at the ER started to panic. They began to ask questions while putting themselves, as well,  into their protective gear. Some sprayed alcohol on themselves, almost emptying the contents of a bottle in just a single use. Some of them even wanted to cancel their admissions and go home right away,  or transfer to other health facilities.
  • "Everything is under control. No need to panic," I heard someone from the infectious control department addressing the crowd, standing tall from the nurses' counter. She had power in her voice, however, the glints of fear reflecting in her eyes betrayed her inner feelings.
  • "What's happening?" someone from the watcher's lounge asked as he slid himself into the main ER's entrance.
  • "Someone came over here for a consultation. Just because he is a foreigner, the people from outside think he is infected with the virus. We already assessed the said patient and we, as the health care team, do think otherwise."
  • She may be lying or not; she only intended to calm down the public and stop them from creating false reports and unnecessary panic. None among the patient's family had access to the isolation room anyway, and it was too early to put a verdict on the suspect. After much convincing, the tension eased down, and everything was back to normal.
  • Foreigners were mostly misjudged because most of those who got infected were tourists from other countries. The locals were not willing to spend the dollar value imposed in that tourist spot since there were lots of magnificent beach resorts all around, offering a much lower price.  
  • I went to the isolation room in a different route, away from the prying eyes of the patient's watchers. Somehow,  I took a step back when I finally stood by the door, drawing a deep breath to calm my racing heartbeats. Who would not get scared when finally you're thrown armless into the real battle?
  • I turned the knob open, and the moment our eyes met, I felt my heart got stuck in my throat. I didn't know why, it was so silly of me again.. I knew it was not from the scare I felt towards the virus but from the way his gaze pierced into my soul. Of course, it was the first time I met him, but why did I feel seeing him in my dreams before?
  • "Good morning, doc!" I heard him spoke, and his deep and resonant voice sent butterflies into my stomach.
  • I stared at him and my foolish self, suddenly, lost the energy to remove my gaze at him. I began to do a quick mental reassessment of myself. Just when did I start to become stupid in front of a gorgeous man?
  • "Good morning, Mr.?" I asked, expecting that his name would be as handsome as he was.
  • "Sean...Sean Grey." Before I could blink, his lips twisted into a delicious curve, intensified by the spark in his eyes. Dear heavens, I was too ready to die with him if, at that moment, he would graze his lips on mine.
  • "I'm Dr. Red, Red Nelson, your physician-on-duty today. Now, may I ask, Mr. Grey, what prompts you to come here?" I began to do my duty but my eyes were on his lips. He must have noticed my craziness because I saw him swallow hard before he replied. Perhaps, my sticking eyes, like leeches on a skin, distracted him.
  • "I was one of those who went to Sama Island a month ago."
  • "It's already a month, isn't it?" I asked; a load of worries dispelled right away from my heart with my initial conclusion that he was not a suspect for the virus infection. The incubation period was only one to two weeks before the signs and symptoms start to manifest. Cough, fever and red patches all over the body were the cardinal signs and airborne transmission was how the virus spread itself.
  • "Yes, but I'm getting paranoid when I learned that a lot of tourists are tested positive of the virus."
  • "After that, have you gone back to Sama Island or traveled to countries where the virus is on outbreak?"
  • "No."
  • "What else prompted you for a check-up?"
  • "I have a cough."
  • "Describe your cough, Mr. Grey."
  • "It's dry and persistent like every time I got my asthma attack."
  • "Are you having a breathing difficulty?"
  • "Not anymore. I had my puff."
  • "Do you also have a fever?" 
  • "Not yet."
  • I laughed hard at his answer. This man was not only stunningly handsome but was shockingly coward and paranoid. He threw me a puzzled look but I ignored him. How would I explain myself? I walked over to his side, placing the diaphragm of my black stethoscope into the quadrants of his back. I then stepped in front of him, bending a little as I also listened to his lung sounds. He stared into my eyes as I did my ministrations on his chest, almost tempted to place both of my palms instead. The loud sound I heard was not the rales or crackles from any of his lobes, but the loud thuds coming from my heart. He was as healthy as an ox.
  • "Go home, Mr. Grey," I said as I mentally scolded myself for acting so silly. It was not my first time to have a male client, nor my first time to touch a handsome man. Yet, I couldn't understand why I was acting this way as if I was running out of a man. I had a handsome boyfriend who believes he was mighty and powerful as a king.
  • "Why do you send me home? Aren't you going to test me if I am positive or not? Aren't you going to treat me?
  • "You are as silly as I am, Mr. Grey," I mumbled foolishly, speaking softly to myself. I was too late to realize that he heard me because when my eyes fell into his face again, I saw his brows turning up. 
  • "What did you say?" he asked, his confused gaze turned into a spark of amusement.
  • How I wish I could tell him I was crazy to feel this way. I was never a believer of love at first sight, not until this moment when this stranger before me, affected me in a way that makes me question my mental health.
  • "I mean you are as paranoid as me. Look at me now, wrapped in this troublesome protective gear, thinking that you are infected with the virus," I explained laughing but not over what I said, but for my craziness. 
  • I began removing my shields, including my goggles and my mask before I spoke to him again. "Mr. Grey, just continue your maintenance medication for your asthma. I'll give you an antihistamine for five days but you may consult your doctor if symptoms get worse."
  • "Give me your number," he said, with all the seriousness my mind could imagine he could do. I looked at him dumbly and my mouth fell open.
  • "My number?"